Classically British, some thoughts on the weather


Us Brtis have a reputation on monologing about the weather. Get us started and there is no stopping us. A comment on 1/2cm of snow and we are all swapping stories, do you remember 1963? (my era, I was stuck at school and had baked beans and fish fingers for the first time) or 1977? (also my era, when I had to pour the milk down the drain, as the milk bulk tank couldn't get through) Along with stories 'When I was young we really knew what cold meant..... don't get frost like we used to' Which is true. I have some fantastic photos of icicles like stalactites ornamenting the farm buildings. Memories of running up the Hill in Nov-March and my sweat freezing on my hair and not being able to harvest the vegetables, as they were frozen in the ground. Last time that happened was 2012 when the village also got cut off for 2 days. Memories of cutting my hand with a knife whilst harvesting vegetables and not noticing as my hands were so cold. And don't let me loose on telling you about my chilblains …

Then there are the winds we have been getting, everyone has a scare story of what they were doing in Oct 1987. We have had the odd rip in a tunnel, we repair it with baler twine till we are ready to re-clad. So on 9 March we sow up the tunnel. On the 10 March we go out to admire our handiwork, which hasn't worked a jot, and 70m2 of plastic from our tunnel is somewhere in the village! I can't remember what I had for breakfast today but I can remember that late frost that hit the cos lettuces in June 1992.

This February I was lying on the grass, admittedly quite damp grass, in T-shirt and looking up at the cloudless sky. Thinking for once, this is the right temperature to harvest spring greens/kale and salad leaves all day. But also thinking is this really (18 degrees) the right weather for Feb! Shouldn't we be talking about climate change and what needs doing and not just the weather? I have been going to a few 'Planet Shaftsbury meetings' that have inspired me. Look up their website if you want to be inspired too.

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